A new cache of text messages released late Thursday reveals that top U.S. diplomats believed President Trump would not meet with Ukraine’s president unless the country launched investigations into Trump’s political enemies. Over several weeks, they coordinated with a top aide to new leader Volodymyr Zelensky and with Trump’s personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani to try to accomplish both, the texts show.
The excerpts were provided by Kurt Volker, the special envoy to Ukraine until his resignation last week. They were released by House Democratic investigators following Volker’s 10-hour deposition on Thursday as part of the fast-moving impeachment inquiry into Trump. Among those involved were Volker, U.S. ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, and William “Bill” Taylor, the U.S. Charges D’affaires in Ukraine. They show that Volker connected Andrey Yermak, the aide to Zelensky, and Giuliani, Trump’s personal lawyer.
Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.), the House Intelligence Committee chairman leading the investigation, and Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), said in a letter that the texts released were “only a subset” of all the messages. Read the messages released below.